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How to breathe during labor

The process of labor is quite strenuous and may pose challenges for the mother. Moreover, since many women undergo labor for the first time in their life, panic and anxiety are very common. Breathing is one very effective way to control anxiety and relax the body to make the labor easier.

Patterned breathing:

Rhythmic and patterned breathing not only maximizes the flow of oxygen to the baby but also makes you feel at ease. If you get tense and frightened during labor and start breathing in a shallow and rapid manner, the amount of blood flow to the baby decreases and your body starts becoming stiff, making the process of labor even more discomforting.

However, with the help of rhythmic and patterned breathing, you may make the entire process of labor easier for yourself as well as the baby. Patterned breathing refers to the act of breathing at any number of possible reps and depths. Experts recommend practising patterned breathing during the third trimester to make the process of labor a smooth one.

Benefits of patterned breathing:

Patterned breathing offers various benefits during labor like:

  • The steady pattern of breathing helps you become calmer during labor.
  • Rhythmic breathing provides more oxygen to the mother as well as the baby.
  • It makes you feel more relaxed during the labor, allowing you to focus better and respond positively to the labor process.
  • It allows you to take effective control of the labor process.
  • Makes each contraction more effective.
  • Helps you dealing with stress during labor and in general.

Breathing tips:

Experts suggest the following breathing techniques during labor:

  • Slow breathing: during early labor, practising slow patterned breathing when contractions start becoming regular is recommended. Stay conscious of your breath and take a deep inhalation for a count of five, and release it as you count to eight.

  • Alternatively, you may try light, accelerated breathing during early labor. To do this, take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Then perform light shallow inhalations and exhalations through the mouth and increase the speed of inhalation and exhalation as the contraction peaks.

  • When the cervix is fully dilated and you are in the second stage of labor, expulsive breathing may help. To do this, breathe normally until you feel an urge to push and then take a deep breath and release it slowly over a period of five to ten seconds. You can repeat it as many times as you feel the urge to push. Holding your breath while pushing is not recommended as it may damage the pelvic floor.

Doctors recommend practising patterned breathing throughout the third trimester as it will make patterned breathing a natural response to pain and stress. Further, during the labor, you may find that the pattern that you practised does not work as good as you thought it to work. Staying conscious is the key and it is okay to alter the patterns according to the needs of the body at the moment.

At Cloudnine, we understand how challenging and taxing the process of labor can be and to make the process as smooth as possible, we provide you with the best of facilities. Our experts, well-trained staff, and state-of-the-art technologies ensure that you get the best possible assistance and care at the time of labor.

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